A Quick Daily Study: Stanza 4

Another late night last night but talking with my son was worth it until the conversation turned into Sharknados and zombies. I was like,’ Dude, you’re stalling. Go to bed. Mommy loves you.’ He grinned knowing he was busted and took off to his room.  Yesterday according to my Asatru calendar was Feast of Sunna is a national holiday in Sweden. My daughter doesn’t follow the Norse beliefs so she wasn’t going to serve coffee and cake with a crown of candles and I’m ok with that. I think I wouldn’t do it either in fear of wax burning my scalp.  Today is Tulya’s E’en opens to the Norse Merry Month. Seven days before Yule, all the trolls are released from the underground. This is also the season when Odin and the wild hunt ride. Householders protect their farms by saining (blessing) them with the sign of the hammer, and fire is carried through all the buildings. I have a hammer hanging in my living room from my woodburning trial and error and even though I’m not going to carry a big ol’ torch through the house I will with a candle.

Here we are, Friday, and Stanza 4.

Hollander Translation:
A drink needeth to full dishes who cometh,
a towel, and the prayer to partake;
good bearing eke, to be well liked
and be bidden to banquet again.

Pocket Version: 
Water to him is needful for
refection comes, a towel and hospitable
invitation, a good reception; if he can get it,
discourse and answer.

Oh boy, this one is a lot to swallow. What helped me understanding this stanza, thanks to Temple of Our Heathen Gods,

Guests do not get an automatic pass (just as hosts do not get an automatic pass). When the guest enters the hall, he is implored in Stanza 1 to look about and make sure no foes are present. In Stanza 2 we see this idea that the guest is placed near the fire and “pressed” or tested. Questions are asked. The guest is measured and his or her worthiness judged. And in Stanza 4, we see that if the guest has earned it…he or she should get fair fame and conversation should be shared with him or her.

Another point that has been mentioned to me in the past, is something very easily missed. The stanza makes it clear that our ancestors valued cleanliness, at a time in history when cleanliness was not at the top of every culture’s list of values.

How about that to every guest be cautious and to every host be just as aware. As a host be hospitable and as a guest be grateful and generous as well.

A Quick Daily Study: Stanza 2

I am acquiring books upon books about Norse myths, Asatru, and even geography. What I learned this morning is that the Hávamál is broken into sections: Gestaþáttr (guests section), Loddfáfnismál (from what I understand this covers more on morals and ethics and code of conduct, Rúnatal (Odin reveals secrets of the Runes), and finally Ljóðatal (from what I gather thanks to Temple of Out Heathen Gods, is about Odin speaking of his sacrifice (which he did to gain knowledge among other things). Ok, I know that there are some of you rolling your eyes but understand that what you are thinking about my path, at one time I thought about yours. This is where tolerance and acceptance is practiced OR read something else. It’s that simple guys. Moving on, Stanza 2 (Hollander translation):

2. All hail to the givers! A guest hath come
say where shall he sit?
In haste is he to the hall who cometh
to find a place by the fire.

Pocket Version 2:
Givers, hail! A guest is come in: where shall he sit? In much haste is he, who on the ways has to try his luck.

There is some controversy over the meaning of this stanza. Some translators believe that it’s a warning for the host to be wary of the guest coming to visit meaning harm. Some believe (which I lean towards more) is that the guest is needing to get warm from the elements. I can see both sides of the translator’s thoughts since the first stanza warned us to be wary of the people we are visiting. So shouldn’t we watch carefully the guest coming to our home as well?

When I do try to make friends upon meeting them the first time I’m pleasant while introducing myself. Over several times meeting or talking I’m paying attention to their mannerisms, how this person treats others or interacts with their family. If I’m not comfortable with something we become acquaintances. It’s that simple or that’s how I understand this stanza.

This will give me a little something to think about today if I meet people. Happy Wednesday everyone and I would like to say hello to my readers in Poland and Sweden (I seen Y’all on my stats map…AWESOME).

Who am I? And what do I eat?

It’s one thing to grow up being proud of a heritage ONLY to learn that there is more to the story. In my quick video, I had mentioned that my father was adopted. My grandmother was a single mother to my father when she met, fell in love with, and married my grandfather who was in the Navy. The family (her side) kept secret the identity of my father’s biological father. So much so that the secret has gone to everyone’s grave. I unknowingly kicked a hornet’s nest (with my mother but that’s for another post) and did the Ancestry DNA test. In the FAQs, it details which parents DNA you may receive. Apparently, I received more of my father’s DNA and who knew that he was Scottish and Swedish?! I also got my mother’s DNA with Norwegian and Irish. I am trying to embrace my heritage both new and old. With my husband learning that he is Norwegian as well I started with recipes from Norway. NORWEGIAN SUCCESS TART (SUKSESSTERTE) and NORWEGIAN BUTTER COOKIES (SERINAKAKER) were my first two actual attempts. I’m so thankful that these two sites posted Norwegian recipes. I was proud of what I was able to accomplish. My original idea was to use my great-great grandmother’s Krumkake iron to make those awesome delicate cone cookies but my mother squashed it. So I searched all over the internet and found these two recipes that would be simple for me to find all the ingredients here in the states.

The tart and the cookies didn’t last long at all and I felt like I was able to own some of my heritage. The tart had no flour! I was shaken, to say the least. I was able to make something so light and filling from just a few ingredients. The excitement happened when it tasted like something I already was familiar with but never had. Bonus-it looked just like the picture. The cookies were a simple cookie that I could easily make from scratch again and again! I know my father and great-great-grandmother would appreciate it. One thing I learned and felt while tasting the little treasures from my oven is the fact that I felt a sense of belonging but also coming from somewhere. I didn’t feel as lost anymore.

The Scottish recipes seem to be my nemesis. I cannot find for the life of me some recipes that are new and exciting to try and make at home. This was an interesting find for me in my DNA and it belongs to my father. He passed away 8 years ago and I would like to make something that helps me feel closer to him and our heritage. Until I am able to get my hands on a recipe or two from Scotland I am going to try my hand at recipes from Sweden…I just have to find them first.

My Plea: I’m asking for help. Anyone with family recipes from Norway, Scotland, or Sweden that they wouldn’t mind me trying to make myself I would greatly appreciate it. Know a friend of a friend whose grandmother LOVES to pass down tradition and wouldn’t mind passing on heritage and the stories that go with I would be grateful. Unfortunately, I do not have those living relative links, family ties, but would like to slowly build my own for my children and myself. I can’t get to see these beautiful countries and experience the culture first hand but I can start to build tradition at home. Please share and ask if there are any recipes.

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